April 6, 2000 New Guide to the Library of Congress To Be Published

Contact: Library of Congress contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022 | Antique Collectors' Club contact: Karen Lunstead (800) 252-5231, ext. 104

The Nation's Library: The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., a new guide to the Library of Congress, by Alan Bisbort and Linda Barrett Osborne, will be published this summer in cooperation with Scala Publishers. The publication, which will be distributed in the United States by the Antique Collectors' Club, is one of several planned to celebrate the Library's Bicentennial in 2000.

Founded in 1800 with the primary mission of serving the United States Congress, the Library's collections have grown during the past two centuries from 740 books and 3 maps to more than 119 million items in all formats, and in some 460 languages. To house the largest repository of human knowledge in the world, the Library's quarters have grown from an "apartment" in the United States Capitol to three buildings on Capitol Hill.

"The Library serves the nation in so many ways -- as a national library for the blind and physically handicapped, the U.S. Copyright Office, the home of the Poet Laureate -- to name a few," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The Nation's Library is a useful guide to this great and complex institution, outlining its history, collections and current organization, its activities and functions."

An artful combination of text, maps and color illustrations, The Nation's Library presents a brief history of the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, complete with a timeline; magnificent interior and exterior views of the Jefferson, Adams and Madison buildings; and representative treasures from the collections. This celebratory guidebook describes the Library's wide variety of services to Congress, other libraries, and the nation, including distribution of cataloging data; improved technology for blind readers; copyright registration; exhibitions, concerts, poetry readings and other public events; promotion of literacy through the Center for the Book; and the Library's efforts to make its unparalleled resources accessible on the Internet to people around the world. The guide also contains keys to conducting research -- in person and online -- at the world's largest research library.

Alan Bisbort, a former staff member of the Library of Congress, is the author of several travel and art books, including California Beaches and Charles Bragg: The Works.

Linda Barrett Osborn is a writer and editor, who has contributed to many Library of Congress publications, including the award-winning Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States.

The Nation's Library: The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. -- a 160-page softcover book with more than 140 illustrations, mostly in color -- will be available for $16.95 in major bookstores, through the Antique Collectors' Club, and from the Library of Congress Sales Shops (Credit card orders: 202-707-0204).


PR 00-045
ISSN 0731-3527